God, I miss movies like "Welcome to the Dollhouse" that have you laughing one moment and then sobbing the next. To paraphrase its titular lead character, "Thank God, or The Devil, or whatever..." for HESHER!
My friend Mario and I were very excited to go see (and add to the all-important opening weekend box office of) "Bridesmaids." It never ceases to amaze me how women -- WHO MAKE UP AT LEAST FIFTY PERCENT OF THE POPULATION -- still have to prove themselves as "bankable" here in Hollywood. Well, at least ones that talk instead of scream, right? Put them in a bikini and have them devoured by piranhas at Spring Break or tie them to a chair and torture them in "Saw 17: Enough Already!" and all is fine. But much has been written about how important "Bridesmaids" is to the future of female directors, writers and comic leading ladies. You would think we were talking about one-legged, albino bisexual Lithuanian women here. Listen, as far as I am concerned, anyone who thinks vagina ain't funny hasn't seen one! And putting so much pressure on ONE movie and ONE director and ONE cast is like people who say, "Okay Obama, we are giving YOUR people a chance -- if you blow this we will NEVER have another black president, understand!?" Can you imagine if we never had another white male president just because he fucked up? Honey, we would have a one-legged, albino bisexual Lithuanian woman president right now! And what about every movie starring a middle-aged white man that tanked? HOW THE FUCK DOES NICOLAS CAGE STILL GET WORK!?
But I'm not here to talk about "Bridesmaids" (which I am seeing today!) or Nic Cage. No, I am here to convince you to do yourself a favor and run, don't walk, to see "Hesher!" Joseph-Gordon Levitt is not only fat-free and tattooed and crazy and beautiful and scary and sexy, but brilliant. And to those of you who are concerned with Natalie Portman -- as we all should be -- I say this: Yes, she is far too gorgeous (even with her hair pulled back and in "ugly" glasses) to keep from being distracting and possibly momentarily pulling one out of the surreal reality of the movie, but she is barely in it and everyone else cancels out this oh-so-minor and temporary problem. Let it go.
The real reasons to see this gem are the script and the luminescent Piper Laurie. You can add weight, many many wrinkles, age spots and gray and thin the hair of a great actress and she will still remain a stunning and fearless creature from which you CANNOT LOOK AWAY! Piper Laurie, like with her Academy Award-nominated role as the religiously bonkers mother in "Carrie," walks the razor-thin line between dead-serious and now-she's-just-fucking-with-me! If she is not nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her work in "Hesher," mark my words, I will move to... Lithuania.
And don't even get me started on Devin Brochu, the actor who plays the bullied and beleaguered 13 year-old... Or the gut-wrenching, white-knuckle, CRAWLING OUT OF YOUR SEAT flashback that is one of the most painfully suspenseful scenes I have ever had to sit through in my entire life. Made every Hitchcock film suddenly feel like Bambi.
"Hesher" made $127,000 this weekend -- that's less than just the Raisinettes sales from all the showings of "Bridesmaids" combined. I am not asking you NOT to see "Bridesmaids" or "Thor" or "Fast Five" (okay, maybe I am asking you NOT to see "Fast Five"), I am simply asking you to also make time for "Hesher."